The Industrial Internet uses a lot of specific vocabulary, so we asked our friends at GE to help us out in clearing up many of the terms used around IIoT.
IoT versus IIoT
While the “internet of things” (IoT) is commonplace, the “Industrial Internet” (or “Industrial IoT” or IIoT) connects networks of people, machines, and industry. We’ve long heard that B2B (business-to-business) (i.e. machines) creates the lion’s share of the data out there in the world and the IIoT is the network that will allow that data to be captured, analyzed, and optimized. This optimized data is the basis for predictive analytics and machine learning.
OT and IT
Operational Technology (OT) defines a software or hardware that directly engages with the physical world. It receives and collects data through sensors. Think of this as the gateway for the physical world to the IIoT. What gets interesting is when IT (Information Technology) gets layered onto OT, such that a software system or digital process can then analyze the data from the physical world (via OT) to optimize the overarching system and response (like through an actuator, see below).
What’s collecting the data and acting upon the analytics?
Sensors provide the link for networks and machines to immediately sense and translate data around them. Types of data that could be collected are: pressure, temperature, moisture, air flow, etc. Then there is the actuator; this is the piece of machinery (often with a motor) that can adjust its surroundings based on the guidance provided by the predicative analytics.
M2M and the Industrial Version(s) of HTTP
M2M, or “machine-to-machine” technology, is the actual connection between various machines, sensors and the internet. This is enabled by protocols, which are like the industrial version of HTTP (although there is no standard protocol for the Industrial Internet).
How does it fit together?
This diagram created by the Industrial Internet Consortium pieces a few of the above components together:
“Industrial Internet Reference Architecture.” Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC: PUB: G1:V1.09:PB:20150601). http://www.iiconsortium.org/IIRA-1-7-ajs.pdf
It’s a wonderful thing that there is ample B2B data, but it needs to be captured and managed in order to be valuable. The idea of the “three V’s” (volume, velocity, and variety) helps business teams think through the types of data they (and their machines) collect, how it is transferred, stored, analyzed and more. (A great place for this storage is the Industrial Cloud).
Creating Predictive Analytics
The output of the IIoT should enable predictive analytics. Using machine learning (i.e. where machines and programs can learn from the data they digest) and complex algorithms for data analysis, the IIoT can merge real-time and historical data to make the most effective, accurate and optimal decisions.
Why is Predictive Analytics important for B2B?
The scale! Not only is there a wealth of data, but the stakes are higher too, which means systems need to leverage the predictive analytics to react more quickly, proactively and with higher levels of accuracy. For instance, failure rates associated with power plants have a significantly higher impact than failure rates of a coffee maker or a typical consumer product.
Where does Predix come into play?
Predix is an IoT platform developed by GE that focuses on building solutions for the Industrial Internet, otherwise known as a cloud-to-edge based Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Predix is the IIoT platform for driving operational and business outcomes that matter.
Where do I come into play?
By connecting machines, intelligence, and people, Predix is reshaping the companies that shape our world. We’re at the beginning of a grand journey. We’re writing, coding and connecting our future, enabling safer environments, optimizing machinery and more. This means we’re creating a digital industrial revolution—and we need you. Are you ready?
Want to learn more? Note: Excerpts here were taken from “Getting Started with Industrial Internet: Rise of the Industrial IoT” (DZone), written by Lothar Schubert, GE, and G. Ryan Spain, DZone with permission of GE. Check out the full story here: https://dzone.com/refcardz/getting-started-with-industrial-internet